Design and Build
Human Powered Vehicles

Join the team Read more

About Us

The Human-Powered Vehicles Design Team (HPVDT) is a student organization at the University of Toronto that is focused on the design and construction of innovative, high-performance, human-powered vehicles. Our goal is to provide students with practical, hands-on experience in engineering design while promoting efficiency, sustainability and the use of human power as a means of reducing society's impact on the environment.

Our current focus: Designing high-speed aerodynamic vehicles, capable of reaching speeds well in excess of 100 km/hr on pure human power. We compete annually in the World Human-Powered Speed Challenge, where streamlined bicycles race and set land speed records on a 5 mile stretch of road near Battle Mountain, Nevada. We have also previously competed in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Human Powered Vehicle Challenge, where the utilitarian and practical aspects of our vehicles are tested in a series of design and race events.

Experience: As a member of the team, you will learn how to work with composites, such as carbon fibre, and other advanced materials. You will also be a part of the design process of the aerodynamic, mechanical, structural and electrical components of the bicycle. You will gain hands-on experience with building streamlined vehicles, as well as how to disassemble and reassemble bicycle components. Committed members will also have an opportunity to become design leads or team executives, which provides leadership and management experience. The team is also often invited to attend various events and conferences where team members can showcase their work and network with professionals in related fields.

  • Design

  • Build

  • Race

  • Design

  • Build

  • Race

  • Design

  • Build

  • Race

Current Projects

Human powered aircraft

Human Powered Aircraft

We are building a tandem human powered aircraft to compete for the long standing Kremer International Marathon Prize. Our aircraft is being built to fly a distance of 42 km (a marathon) in one hour or less. In addition to the speed and distance conditions, the aircraft must also be able to turn repeatedly to navigate the specified figure eight course. When completed, we expect it to be the most advanced human powered aircraft ever constructed.

Project Designers: Calvin Moes, Bill Kong, Trefor Evans, Thomas Ulph
Competitions: Kremer International Marathon Prize
Start: March 2020
Structure: Carbon sandwich panel fuselage, carbon and balsa wood spar, high density foam wing with mylar wrapping
Features: Fly-by-wire control system, remote control capability, lightweight suspension and landing gear



Our most advanced speedbike, TITAN employs all of the lessons our Team has learned in our previous projects. This design pushes the bounds of speedbike engineering, and is driving the sport as a whole in an exciting new direction. At the 2019 WHPSC, HPVDT members piloted an unfaired TITAN to a new world tandem speed record of 120.20 kph (74.69 mph). We have been working on finishing and improving TITAN for future WHPSC events.

Project Director: Calvin Moes
Competitions: WHPSC 2019, 2022 WHPSC, 2023 WHPSC
Start: Fall 2018
Completion: Main build completed Fall 2019, ongoing updates
Top Speed: 120.20 km/h at WHPSC 2019 (New Multi-Rider World Record)
Structure: Carbon sandwich panel shell, hollow carbon internal frame, carbon disc wheels, largely customized drivetrain, bespoke electronics, sensor and vision system


Streamliner Upgrades

In 2022, HPVDT overhauled the drivetrains, internal structure and fairings for Cyclone and Tempest, the team's ASME HPVC entries in 2016 and 2017. This project helps HPVDT's new members get design, building and streamliner racing experience after the return from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ultimately, more than 10 new team members rode Cyclone and Tempest at the 2022 and 2023 Waterford HPRA, and multiple team riders achieved speeds over 60 miles per hour at the 2022 World Human Powered Speed Challenge while operating Cyclone.

Project Director: Lincoln Macdonald

See Past Work

Past Projects



Axios was HPVDT's first human-powered submarine design. Designed to be fast, maneuverable, and generally awesome, Axios was a completely new take on human-powered watercraft.

Project Director: Calvin Moes
Duration: Summer 2014 to Summer 2022
Dimensions (L×W×H): 275 cm × 52 cm × 65 cm
Mass: 460 kg (ready to dive)
Top Speed: 4.4 m/s (estimated)
Designed Depth: 30 m
Structure: Fiberglass pressure hull, polyurethane viewport, steel drivetrain
Features: Closed-circuit rebreather system, advanced safety systems, optimized propeller geometry

Coming soon


Blueshift was a fully faired super-recumbent delta camera tricycle with three wheels on a short wheel base. This design has ideal characteristics for its project goals. The delta wheel placement and short wheelbase allowed us to accommodate a tight turning radius without increasing the frontal area of the fairing. The flat rider position produceed a low center of mass which provided good lateral stability under both cornering accelerations and high speed crosswinds. The drivetrain and shifting range provided us with a wide range of speeds, from as low as 26 km/h to as high as 118 km/h.

Project Director: Bill Kong



A new take on the most common human powered vehicle in the world: the upright bicycle. Zephyr uses partial aerodynamic fairings fore and aft of the rider's body to provide a 22% drag reduction relative to a standard aerobar position. This vehicle dominated all the races at ASME HPVC North 2019, lapping the second place vehicle seven times during the endurance race. To demonstrate real world usability, the vehicle completed a 350 km 3 day tour from Toronto to Kingston during summer 2019.

Project Director: Bill Kong
Competitions: ASME North 2019 (1st Endurance, 1st Men's Speed, 1st Women's Speed, 4th Design, 2nd Overall)
Start: Fall 2018
Completion: Spring 2019
Dimensions (L×W×H): 217 cm × 48 cm × 133 cm
Mass: 11.5 kg (with fairings), 9.5 kg (bike only)
Top Speed: ~60 km/h at ASME 2019
Structure: Prepreg carbon monocoque main frame with carbon wrapped foam core stays, and aluminum dropouts and head tube
Features: Partial front and rear aerodynamic fairings, wide range of ergonomic adjustability, deep section front wheel, integrated power meter, standard component compatibility


Eta Prime

Designed as an upgraded version of Aerovelo’s Eta speedbike, Eta Prime takes advantage of an extensively optimized frame and shell structure to achieve significant mass savings while improving stiffness. This vehicle piloted by Calvin Moes won the 2017 World Human Powered Speed Challenge men's and collegiate men's competitions with a speed of 127.60 kph (79.30 mph). The same vehicle and rider competed again the following year and improved their top speed to 130.08 kph (80.83 mph), becoming the team's first vehicle to exceed the 80 mph mark.

Project Director: Calvin Moes
Competitions: 1st WHPSC 2017, 2nd WHPSC 2018
Start: Summer 2015
Completion: Summer 2017
Dimensions (L×W×H): 270 cm × 45 cm × 85 cm
Mass: 22 kg (empty)
Top Speed: 130.08 km/h at WHPSC 2018
Structure: Carbon sandwich panel shell, hollow carbon internal frame, carbon disc wheels, largely custom drivetrain
Features: Fully-redundant high-definition camera vision system, two-stage transmission (6 speed), 650c wheels, ±3.5 degrees steering range



Inspired by Celero, Arbiter was developed with the practical high-speed commuter in mind. Its three-wheeled configuration was stable at low speeds and highly maneuverable when slaloming down obstacle courses at high speed. Arbiter was the first vehicle we’ve completed on time before driving out to compete at the annual ASME HPVC competitions. Arbiter finished with 2nd in Design and Innovation categories at ASME HPVC East 2018 and was also featured on Daily Planet!

Project Director: Bruce Hu
Competitions: ASME East 2018 (2nd Design, 2nd Innovation, 4th Endurance, 8th Overall)
Start: Fall 2017
Completion: Spring 2018
Dimensions (L×W×H): 284 cm × 114 cm × 102 cm
Mass: ~25 kg (empty)
Top Speed: ~50 km/h at Northbrook 2018
Structure: Carbon-Kevlar monocoque shell, Detachable front steering assembly
Features: Fully Suspended System, Adjustable seat and BB position, Rollover Detection system, Android App integration



Similar to Cyclone, Tempest is based on the Vortex design. With a refined landing gear system, transmission structure, and ultra low-drag tires, Tempest was meant to sustain high speeds for a long commute. Tempest placed 5th in the 2017 HPVC Innovation category, but was hampered by mechanical problems in other events.

Project Director: Evan Bennewies, Alan Petit
Competitions: ASME East 2017 (5th Innovation)
Start: Fall 2016
Completion: Summer 2017
Dimensions (L×W×H): 242 cm × 55 cm × 107 cm
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Linkage-based landing gear, high-efficiency tires, quick-release transmission structure, lightweight durable shell



Cyclone was our entry for the 2016 ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge. It has the same aerodynamic shape as Vortex, but with a different interior. The intent of this vehicle was to be a consolidation of the knowledge and experience that the team has built up from the past 6 years. Cyclone placed third in design at ASME but faced mechanical issues preventing participation in races.

Cyclone was also brought to the 2022 WHPSC with re-designed internals, new aerodynamic pieces and safety features, and reached a top speed of just over 60 mph.

Project Director: Calvin Moes, Sherry Shi, Lincoln Macdonald (2021-2022)
Competitions: ASME East 2018 (3rd Design, 6th Innovation), WHPSC 2022
Start: Fall 2015
Completion: Summer 2017, re-engineered in 2021-2022 for WHPSC
Dimensions (L×W×H): 238 cm × 58 cm × 106 cm
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Linkage-based landing gear, lightweight durable shell



Simplicity was the objective with Viteza. Using a minimalist lowracer recumbent configuration, HPVDT created an extremely light yet fully-functional two-wheeled racing bike. With an optional rear fairing, Viteza was our first bike not to have at least a partial monocoque shell. Viteza placed fifth overall at the 2015 ASME HPVC.

Viteza was subsequently re-engineering into an unfaired lowracer for use at HPRA events in 2022.

Dimensions (L×W×H): 248 cm × 56 cm × 77 cm
Top speed: 63.7 km/h
Structure: Carbon fibre frame and roll bar
Features: Carbon leaf spring front suspension, stiffness-optimized frame



Based on the aerodynamic design of Vortex, Valkyrie was an attempt at a fast but versatile streamlined vehicle. Using a leaning-tricycle configuration, the intent was to maintain stability at low speeds while having bicycle-like high-speed handling. Valkyrie placed seventh overall at the 2014 ASME HPVC.

Dimensions (L×W×H): 239 cm × 58 cm × 106 cm
Top Speed: 72.5 km/h
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Linkage-based leaning system, ultra-light composite disc wheels, expanded storage capacity



As the first ASME HPVC-specific vehicle we've built, Celero was designed from the start for ease of use and versatility. With three wheels, it's stable at all speeds; only one rider has managed to crash Celero, and only under very adverse conditions.

Dimensions (L×W×H): 262 cm × 88 cm × 85 cm
Top Speed: 68.4 km/h
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Intuitive linkage-based steering, integrated running and signal lights, differential braking



Bluenose is one of our fastest speedbikes yet. Since placing fourth overall at ASME HPVC 2012, Bluenose has been entered in the WHPSC in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018. Bluenose has set the collegiate speed record several times.

Dimensions (L×W×H): 247 cm × 55 cm × 88 cm (excluding fin)
Top Speed: 123.8 km/h
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Fault-tolerant camera vision system, high-efficiency tires, damage-resistant outer shell



Our second vehicle achieved an excellent balance of speed and stability. Vortex won first place overall at the 2011 ASME competition, and broke Ace's collegiate land speed record at WHPSC 2012. Vortex remains a team favorite, and has been raced in multiple amateur events since 2011.

Dimensions (L×W×H): 239 cm ×50 cm × 105 cm
Top Speed: 116.9 km/h
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Streamlined wheel openings, dual-stage front wheel drive, retractable landing gear



Our first-ever speedbike, Ace was built for the 2010 ASME Human-Powered Vehicle Challenge and the 2010 World Human-Powered Speed Challenge. It performed well in both, and set a new collegiate-level land speed record.

Dimensions (L×W×H): 281 cm × 55 cm × 107 cm
Top Speed: 108 km/h
Structure: Carbon/Kevlar shell, internal aluminum frame
Features: NACA duct ventilation, single-stage front wheel drive



The Human Powered Ornithopter Project derived from the work of the UTIAS flapping wing research program. Snowbird was designed and built by the Human Powered Ornithopter (HPO) team to realize the timeless dream of allowing a man to fly like a bird. In summer 2010, Todd Reichert piloted it to became the first human powered ornithopter in the world to achieve sustained and controlled flight. After the project the HPO team was restructured as HPVDT to pursue other forms of human powered transport.

Wingspan : 32 m
Mass (empty) : 43 kg
Flight Distance: 145 m
Average Speed : 25.6 km/h
Structure: Carbon fiber, Balsa, Basswood, Styrofoam, Mylar Skin, Vectran
Features: Rowing Drive

2023-24 Team Leadership

Lincoln Macdonald

Engineering Science 2T5

Lincoln joined the team in 2021 to design and build vehicles, learn to ride them and push the limits of human achievement. He has been a member in a variety of team engineering projects and events. He has been the project director for re-building Cyclone into a WHPSC-capable vehicle. He has also worked to build his riding experience and participated in the 2022 WHPSC as a rider. Lincoln was also the 2022-23 outreach director.

Going forward Lincoln will be leading a new Watercraft Project to push the limits and attempt to achieve the water speed record for human powered propulsion.

Outside of the Team, Lincoln is heavily involved in the Engineering Society and the annual Skule Nite Production.

Alex Zhang

Executive At Large
Mechanical Engineering 2T6

Alex joined the team in 2022 because he was intrigued by a human powered plane. He has focused on prototyping, manufacturing, and testing. In addition, his interests include topological optimizations and superlatives. Through his role, he hopes to help the team transition into future human-powered aircraft projects efficiently. When he’s not in the workshop, you can find him napping. Please don’t though, that’s a little creepy.

Aryan Ghosh

Sponsorship Director
TrackOne 2T6

Aryan joined the team as he entered his undergraduate studies in 2022. He joined the team to be part of a well knit community that aimed to push the boundaries of engineering entirely. Aryan spends most of his time on the electronics team designing custom electronics under Savo Bajic. Aryan is directly responsible for the aircraft control interface, creating custom electronics for a 3-axis joystick. In his off time, Aryan competes alongside Iron Dragons, a dragonboat team under the university of Toronto’s faculty of Engineering.

Claire Nolet

Operations Director
Mechanical Engineering 2T6

Claire joined HPVDT in 2022. Since her arrival, she has focused on circuit board design and electronics hardware. She hopes to orient new teammates towards safe usage of machinery through her leadership role. She is also training as a competitive rider for speedbike events. Outside of team meetings and her studies, Claire is either training with the varsity cross-country team or piloting Cessna 150s, with hopes of getting her private pilot’s license.

Daniel Tykei

Financial Director
Engineering Science 2T5

Daniel joined HPVDT in 2022 because he wanted to start applying the content he was learning in lecture to build some fast bikes. He has worked on the electrical team but has grown to love some mind-numbing labor. He has hopes to compete in future competitions which requires some training on the recumbent bikes. If he's not at the workshop you can find him climbing, camping, or drinking his tea.

Savo Bajic

Head of Electronics
Mechanical Engineering, 2T0 ECE MEng 2T3

Savo joined the team in his first year of undergraduate studies in 2016, initially for a mechanical role but pivoted into electronics taking the helm as head of the department in 2018. As head of electronics Savo is focused on the development of our custom electronics to monitor vehicle performance as well as the other projects like test rigs, as well as mentoring new members in the dark arts of embedded electronics.

Zack Fine

Outreach Director
Engineering Science 2T4

Zack joined HPVDT in 2020. He has worked on several projects in his time as a member of the team, including re-designing the drivetrains for Cyclone and Tempest, working on the control system for the team's Human Powered Aircraft Program and leading the re-work of Viteza into a more reliable unfaired recumbent for team training and race events.

Bill (with a bunny)
Bill Kong

Aircraft Project Director
B.S. in Physics, Mathematics

Bill joined HPVDT in 2015 because it brought his passions for engineering and cycling together in one place. He has since become skillful in topics ranging from mechanical design and fabrication, systems integration, project management, numerical simulation, and vehicle operation. He is currently one of the team's top male athletes and test-pilots. Bill enjoys camping, hiking, bike touring, and the thrill of adventure.

Calvin Moes Photo
Calvin Moes

Aircraft Project Director
Engineering Science 1T3, MASc 2016, PHD 2022

Calvin joined HPVDT in late 2011 to build and ride high-performance vehicles and try to set some world records. Calvin’s experience with HPVDT spans all of its technical and administrative functions, but most especially in high-level design and composites manufacturing. After many years as Team Captain, Calvin is now working with the team as a project director and pilot for our new human-powered aircraft. Having just recently finished his doctorate in materials engineering, Calvin is now working as an engineering consultant while pursuing a variety of other projects and interests including mountaineering, SCUBA diving, and ultralight aircraft pilotage.

Contact us

Lincoln Macdonald, Team Captain
Daniel Tykei, Finance Director
Zack Fine, Outreach Director
Aryan Ghosh, Sponsorship Director
Savo Bajic, Head of Electronics
Dr. Jun Nogami, Professor and Faculty Advisor


256 McCaul St, 5th Floor
Toronto, ON

Mailing Address:

Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
University of Toronto
Wallberg Building, 184 College Street, Suite 140
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 3E4 Canada